Perfect timing

After all the discussion we’ve had on blogrolls and the problems associated with “top” lists, and the headway we’re starting to make on understanding of the problems associated with links and popularity, to read about this at Dave Sifry’s is equal parts disappointment and amazement.

With the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 list, we are honoring those individuals who are driving the proliferation of Open Media and leveraging the power of community, not an individual or a corporation. The purpose of the list is to provide a framework of this emerging industry. It will include the key players who are proving the impact of Open Media and building the infrastructures to facilitate it.

What are the categories?

The Pioneers: industry luminaries who created the vision of open media and continue to shape it.

The Tool Smiths: web service entrepreneurs and companies building the open media tools (blogs, social software, wikis, RSS, analytic tools, etc.).

The Trendsetters: the influencers driving and evangelizing the adoption and applications of Open Media.

The Practitioners: the top bloggers in politics, business, technology, and media.

The Enablers: the venture capitalists and investors backing the Open Media Revolution.

Leaving aside the fact that originally, the Pioneers was labeled “The Founding Fathers” — ooops!–one can almost see the finger going down the Technorati Top 100 list and the voice echoing, “Well, we need a category for…” With some outside the list such as Wikipedia, flickr, and delicious.

Jeneane at Allied has a good post (with some nominations that made me chuckle–though I rather like Roland’s), and Dave Rogers asked some tough questions, in comments and in a related post.

And it’s not just the usual pain-in-the-butt suspects making foo-foo noises, as Mary Hoder also lists some concerns, though she did provide nominations.

By categorizing some people as the “Open Source Media 100″, spokespersons are officially created, people who can then be pointed to for outside media and commercial purposes. This effectively creates barriers against not only new participation, but participation from those outside of the select few who are brought up again. And again. And again.

The reason why ‘open source media’, if that’s the new term now, has grown as it has, is that there is no ownership of any one aspect of it. It’s a fertile field with plenty of room for old players and new. Create a list like that is the same as putting a box on it and saying, “Okay, now, these are the owners”.

Stowe Boyd writesDefinitely a sign of maturity in the marketplace I guess. A sign of maturity? Or a desperate wish to ‘legitimize’ this environment?

Technorati has good, sharp, motivated people–real innovators. With the data and resources available, the group could do much more than just ‘count’ links, and run contests. There is no innovation in “Top” lists. What a waste.

(Oh, and yes — last ‘Technorati’ and ‘link’ post for awhile. One can only go ‘tsk tsk tsk’ and shake one’s head so many times.)

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